April 8, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
There is no relationship more important to the Government of Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples. Since 2017, meaningful collaboration with Inuit leaders has helped to advance reconciliation, strengthen the Inuit-Crown partnership, and create a more prosperous Inuit Nunangat.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Cabinet ministers, and the elected Inuit leadership of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation, and Nunatsiavut Government gathered virtually today for a meeting of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee. The Committee met to review progress and to advance work on shared priorities for its fifth year.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges in communities across Inuit Nunangat. Today’s meeting focused on how we can continue to work together to address the socio-economic inequity that make Inuit Nunangat communities uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister, President Obed, and Committee members reflected on accomplishments over the past year, including the creation of standalone Arctic Regions through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee process. This and other areas of shared progress, such as the ongoing co-development of an Inuit Nunangat Policy, represent key steps toward reconciliation, Inuit self-determination, and supporting meaningful, community-driven solutions to the distinct issues faced by Inuit.
The Committee also discussed ongoing work in several areas, including improving food security, meeting infrastructure needs across Inuit Nunangat, implementing An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth and families, co-developing distinctions-based Indigenous health legislation, addressing violence against Inuit women, girls, and LGBTQ2 people, and supporting the revitalization, maintenance, protection, and promotion of Inuktut.
In addition, the Committee established its 2021 work plan on reconciliation measures, outlined ways to create more opportunities for Inuit as we recover from the pandemic, and continued targeted discussions on overcoming barriers to create distinction-based funding for infrastructure projects in Inuit Nunangat.
The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee reflects a shared commitment to a renewed Inuit-Crown relationship and reconciliation based on affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the health and wellbeing of people across Inuit Nunangat. Today’s meeting was an important opportunity to address these inequalities, while continuing to advance reconciliation, strengthen the Inuit-Crown relationship, and make a real difference in the lives of Inuit.”
— The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“Since the last meeting of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in March 2020, the world has changed, and the relationships built through this collaborative process have been essential in mobilizing emergency support for Inuit across Canada. This partnership remains key to our success in achieving our shared goals for the creation of equity between Inuit and other Canadians.”
— President Natan Obed, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
- The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee was created in February 2017. It is founded on the principle that an equal partnership between Inuit and the Crown is essential to the reconciliation process.
- The Committee meets three times a year. Once a year it is co-chaired by the Prime Minister and the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
- The Committee also includes as observers the presidents of Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, the National Inuit Youth Council, and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.
- The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee priorities are:
- Inuit-Crown land claims
- Inuit Nunangat policy space
- Inuktut revitalization, maintenance, and promotion
- Reconciliation measures
- Education, early learning, and training
- Health and wellness
- Environment and climate change
- Housing and infrastructure
- Economic development and procurement
- Legislative priorities
- Inuit Nunangat is the Inuit homeland in Canada. It encompasses the land, water, and ice of the regions of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, and Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador.
- The recently announced Arctic Regions’ boundary highlights a collaborative approach that will be a model for government decision-making moving forward. The Government of Canada will continue to work with Inuit organizations and communities to advance priorities and ensure the delivery of programs and services meet the needs of communities in Inuit Nunangat.
- Last month, the Government of Canada reaffirmed its commitment to invest $42 million over five years to support Inuktut language activities and education in Nunavut.
- The Indigenous Languages Act, which was developed in consultation with Indigenous peoples, and is intended to support the reclamation, revitalization, maintaining, and strengthening of Indigenous languages in Canada, received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.
- During Fall 2020, the Government of Canada took important steps to advance the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act by hosting a series of virtual consultations across Canada.
- Prime Minister of Canada and President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami announce the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee
- Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit-Crown Partnership
- Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework
- Arctic And Northern Policy Framework: Inuit Nunangat
- Map of Inuit Nunangat